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Amazing Stuff We’ve Seen and Tasted

Christy Explores Her Neighborhood

I am quite embarrassed to admit for the past year I have lived a short 0.8 miles from Nopa and up until two weeks ago I had never experienced a meal there. Let me tell you, this neighborhood institution lived up to all the hype! My favorite part about my dinner was how simple yet delicious each dish was. We ordered way too much and ate it all. Some of my highlights were the wood baked butter beans with feta, oregano pesto and breadcrumbs which I’ve tried to recreate but will never taste as good in my own kitchen and the full flavored little fried fish with dill, aioli and lemon. If you haven’t had the chance to eat at this San Francisco classic yet, I highly recommend you schedule a visit!

AFCO EATS | Madison’s Visit to Single Thread

Over the past weekend, I was lucky enough to experience one of the most talked about restaurant openings of 2017, Single Thread. Located in downtown Healdsburg, Single Thread offers a Japanese inspired eleven-course tasting menu.

The restaurant is stunningly beautiful and every detail has been meticulously thought-out. From the Japanese hand-crafted plates, bowls, and cups to the wine list, it’s obvious Kyle and Katina Connaughton left no thimble underturned when creating their dream restaurant.

Although the space was breathtaking, the food was the real show stopper of the evening. One of our favorite experiences was when we first sat at our table. After enjoying some bites and bubbles on the rooftop terrace, also used to grow herbs and produce for the restaurant, we were welcomed to our table where an elaborate wood block covered in moss featuring a handful of bite-sized appetizers awaited us. And it didn’t stop there as the appetizers kept coming!

A few other highlights from our meal included the Mt. Lassen Trout “Ibushi-Gin” with Shio Koji Vinaigrette, Trout Roe and Myoga and the Chamomile Ice Cream with Brown Butter, Popped Sorghum, and Apricot Compote.

Overall, the experience at Single Thread is one I will never forget.

AFCO Abroad | Karina’s Trip to Paradise – Literally

Truly a paradise to those who wander to Isla Mujeres, Mexico, this island has easily become one of my favorite places in the world.

Just off the coast of Mexico, this tiny coral island is one of Mexico’s true treasures. Unlike its mainland neighbor Cancun, Isla Mujeres is a “no tourist” haven. The magic of this place boasts clear blue water, great food and some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. This island is well-suited for people who want to lay on the beach, enjoy a cerveza or margarita, eat fresh food and relax.

Restaurants on the island specialize in seafood, Mexican and Caribbean-fusion cuisine. It’s geographical location has welcomed restaurateurs from across the globe, who have found comfort in the warmth that this island brings to life. Culinary standouts this time around? Qubano – if you’re looking for some authentic Cuban food, this is it. Try the mini Cubano Sampler for a mouth-watering immersion to the land of cigars and rum. Pita Amoreunique flavors, light and fresh dishes sure to satisfy your cravings. The menu has 5 items, and they get away with having 5 items because each item is done so well. Bally Hoo fresh fish ceviche and a large mango margarita. I’ll leave it at that. Last, but DEFINITELY not least, Cafe Mango – what i’m convinced is Mexico’s best breakfast (& coffee). Rent a golf cart or a moped and wander into the residential neighborhood of Isla. Try their World Famous Coconut French Toast, Huevos Rancheros and Stuffed Chile Poblano (we went twice!).

Lastly, I’d like to highlight the amazing and beautiful Abuelita Angelita who taught us how to cook her rendition of a Central Mexican dish of Steak & Potatoes from her childhood in her own home. From start to finish, this cooking class took us through the steps to prepare homemade pico de gallo, guacamole, the entire entree and Angelita’s beloved Flan de Queso Napolitano – a cross between flan and cheesecake – quite an exquisite combination. Sipping on some local beers, making small talk with the other guests, learning about abuelita Angelita’s life and tasting our way through this experience will not be forgotten anytime soon. (In fact, I’m still dreaming about it to this day!)

My recommendation: eat and drink locally and you’ll have the experience of a lifetime.

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